We recently wrote about how Redbox, the cheap and easy video-vending-machine company that's undercutting Blockbuster with its dollar DVDs and rapidly expanding kiosks (21,000, up from 12,000 last year) and creeping up on Netflix with $198.1 million in sales last quarter (double its take for the same quarter last year). It's secret? It offers easy physical DVD rentals in a world gone mad for streaming. And now the the Redbox iPhone app makes the hunt for last-minute movies even easier.
Here's how the new free app works: Redbox users search for movies, either manually or by genre. Then Redbox guides you to the nearest location with an available copy of the desired flick using Google map. Can't make it to store for a few hours? Reserve the movie from your phone, pay the first night's fee, and pick it up later that day. The app doesn't offer movie reviews, a function Netflix and users of, say, iRentMovie value greatly. But Redbox is more of a take-what's-available sort of thing, and for people without enough foresight to manage a cue or plan ahead so a new release arrives the moment its available via mail, Redbox is the ticket.